What Are You Remembering On This Memorial Day? Military, Martyrs, and Missionaries


Image by Heritage History of Christian Martyrs in Roman Empire

Guns blazing in a horrendous firefight, the pinned down soldiers thought nothing could save them. They fought forces which oppressed their freedom. The British had long abused the rights and freedoms of the American colonies and now they fought back. And these long abusive fights and the endless loss of life was but for one cause—a free nation of their own. The right to pray the way they wished, to pay taxes to a local governing body, and to be politically represented by a collective of their peers, these rights were much on the mind of those soldiers who sacrificed their bodies for a nation for which they never see.

Today many soldiers, men and women, fight for the maintenance of these same rights and privileges. They are all remembered on this American holiday—Memorial Day.

And while the sacrifice of these men and women is worth remembering and honoring, we must remember that the Christian, the Christ follower, holds a citizenship which transcends national pride, patriotism, and identity. The body of Christ is composed of many parts, from every nation, language group, and tribe across the entire globe throughout all time. Even now many of our kinsmen are under oppression and suffering for the sake of the gospel.

Many Americans today have forgotten them. Likely a consequence of American affluence and the protestant rejection of honors martyrs and saints, many western Christians focus more temporal comforts.

Today, most will fire-up their grills, throw large chunks of seasoned meat over the flames, and enjoy a “cold one” with friends and family. A nice, extra day to relax and forget the terrible tortures of their nine-to-five job. Few of these Christian Americans (or American Christians depending on which identity they see more paramount) will remember the fallen soldiers who have sacrificed luxury, life, and limb for the very freedoms to which they so ignorantly enjoy. But a greater travesty is committed when Christians forget the patriots of our true nation, tribe, kingdom, and allegiance—the Kingdom of God (For more on this, check out these articles on The Kingdom of Jesus Christ and Patriotism).

Where is the memorial for fallen martyrs? Where is the honor to which we must pay those who have sacrificed so much for the kingdom of God—the true and eternal kingdom which is forever ruled by a perfect and righteous king.

Is it worthwhile remembering these martyrs and hard-working saints? And if so, how can we honor both ancient and modern martyrs and heroes of the faith?

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